Ode to a Blackbird

 “Most musical, most melancholy” bird!
A melancholy bird! Oh! idle thought!
  In nature there is nothing melancholy.



Picture pinched from Pinterest

Coleridge wrote the poem ‘The Nightingale‘ in 1798, around the time the cottage was built and the Secret Garden first created. ‘The nightingale sounds rather like a blackbird singing at dusk’ my high school English teacher said in an effort to bring the poem to life for the class. I often thought of her whenever I heard a blackbird sing but now when I hear it’s song I am reminded of a friend.

Apart from gardens some of my favourite places to visit are museums, art galleries and coffee shops. And one of my favourite, favourite places is a coffee shop inside an art gallery…

Glaring at my friend in exasperation I exclaimed ‘there’s just no point taking you anywhere nice or doing anything interesting coffeewith you because you never appreciate it. You’re either ranting about something that happened years ago or fretting about something that hasn’t happened yet, something that may never happen. You are in a beautiful wood-panelled coffee shop surrounded by priceless artwork but you could be anywhere. This coffee is divine but I doubt you’ve even tasted it. Now shut up and don’t say another word. I am trying to enjoy my coffee.’

There was a stunned look at my outburst then a quiet smile as he allowed me to savour my coffee in silence. During the car journey home I lectured him at length about the importance of contentment. A few days later in the garden {my last garden} I grumbled about the traffic noise ‘not entirely content then’ he muttered as he adjusted the parasol.

Traffic noise is a dim and distant memory now and every evening a blackbird sweetly sings in the Secret Garden. As for my friend they say people teach that which they most need to learn and he now teaches meditation. Perhaps I ought to teaching gardening! I have been trying for months to get a photograph of him {the blackbird not my friend} without success so here instead is another picture of a blackbird {in a garden} pinched from Pinterest.



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